New York City, NY

Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Hugh Jackman, 735 Actors And A Dog Welcome Theater Lovers Back To Broadway

Jeryl Brunner

“Curtain up! Light the lights!” sang Mama Rose in the great musical Gypsy. And after 18 months in darkness, that is what is happening on Broadway.
The historic This Is Broadway campaign, welcoming theater lovers back to Broadway, launched August 30th.Courtesy This Is Broadway

On August 30, the Broadway League and its president Charlotte St. Martin announced the launch of This Is Broadway. The historic initiative welcomes theater lovers back to Times Square.

This Is Broadway is the result of unprecedented partnerships between theater owners, myriad behind-the-scenes professionals and industry competitors to create a unified comeback campaign that shouts “Broadway is BACK!” around the world.

 “I am so thankful for all the work that went into creating this moment of unity and I look forward to all theater fans seeing a show this fall!” says Broadway League president, Charlotte St. Martin. “This is Broadway brings together the joy and excitement we all feel for this art form and the rebound of New York City.  Broadway reopening means 97,000 workers returning to their jobs and the insatiable desire for live performance back on stage,”

Kicking off the campaign is a 2 ½ minute short film that celebrates Broadway in a big way.  With a voiceover by Oprah Winfrey, the film features stars include Hugh Jackman, Bruce Springsteen, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sara Bareilles, Billy Porter, Angela Lansbury, Ethel Merman, James Earl Jones and Denzel Washington and countless others. The film includes footage from 99 Broadway shows, 735 actors and one dog, highlighting the rich history of Broadway, and the exciting new shows yet to come.

Watch the film here. is also a central element to the campaign. The website offers a fresh approach to providing audiences with a comprehensive overview of what’s playing on Broadway.  For the first time, the site features a unique recommendation engine built on five years of data including the performance of 220 shows, 17 million ticket sales across the Northeast corridor, and a time series affinity model to make accurate show recommendations to further drive consideration.  The website is also home to the campaign’s anthem film, safety information and real time updates regarding Broadway’s return.

The festivities continue on August 30 at The Empire State Building. The Broadway League joins Ana Villafañe and Bianca Marroquín, who star of Chicago the Musical, for a lighting ceremony to celebrate Broadway’s return. The iconic building illuminate the New York City skyline while honoring Broadway.

Then from September 17 through Sunday, September 19 the festival CURTAIN UP! will take place outside in Times Square. The three-day, free festival will include interactive experiences, panels, live concerts, and performances culminating in a concert celebrating the entirety of the Broadway industry in the heart of Times Square. Participating artists and more information will be announced soon.

As Oprah Winfrey says in the moving film that includes vintage footage from Broadway shows and the Tonys, “This is where love builds every stage…This is where we dance. Where you know you’ll always get goosebumps.”

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New York based journalist who has written for Forbes, Parade, InStyle, National Geographic Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and The Wall Street Journal. Author of the book "My City, My New York, Famous New Yorkers Share Their Favorite Places" and podcaster, ("When Lightning Strikes"). I cover the arts, theater, entertainment, food, travel and people who are motivated by their joy and passion.

New York City, NY

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